So if I had to make a list of ways to lose NaNoWriMo:
- Reuse characters and plots from previously unfinished or failed writing efforts.
- Try to pack something the size of Lord of the Rings (just under 500,000 words) into 50,000 words. In a month.
- Write something you don't know. It's hard to add the little details when you're writing about a completely foreign environment, whether it's a city that you've never been to, a place that doesn't even exist, a job that you've never done, or a culture that you made up. Use what you know and twist it to fit.
- Get hung up on details. I constantly had issues like coming up with names for places and secondary characters and keeping them consistent. Once I hit on just using "blah blah" or blatantly stealing existing names (just for the draft), it stopped slowing me down.
- Stay in your usual environment. I think I wrote maybe 1000 words sitting at my home desktop. I wrote most of my words sitting somewhere busy with headphones in.
- Write while you're online. Just not possible for me. I wrote 90% of my words on an old beat up laptop with no Wifi.